The top-ranked Middlebury field hockey team remained undefeated on the season, posting a 4-0 NESCAC road victory at #16 Hamilton (4-1, 2-1) on Sunday. The Panthers (5-0, 3-0) return home Saturday, facing another ranked opponent in 10th-ranked Bowdoin at 12:00 p.m.
Middlebury netted the contest's first goal with 25:14 on the clock, as Grace Jennings tallied her fifth of the season. Jennings carried the ball into the Continental half of the field and her long shot went through a screen, eluding Hamilton goalie Julia Booth.
The best chance of the opening frame for the hosts came with 12:30 remaining on a penalty corner. Hamilton's Keeley Duran fired a shot from the left side of the arc, but Middlebury goalie Megan Collins made a nice kick save with her right foot. Less than two minutes later, the Panthers added a second goal with 10:51 left before the break. Meg Fearey buried a long rebound from the left side for her first career goal. Middlebury made it a 3-0 lead at the intermission when Emma Johns had her shot from the left side tipped in by Molly Freeman.
The Panthers extended the advantage to four goals 3:04 into the second stanza, as Johns tapped in a crossing pass at the left post from Erin Nicholas.
Middlebury secured the shutout victory, as Collins made a key kick save from close range on an attempt by Hamilton's Sarah Pierpont with 4:15 left in the contest. The Panthers also muted a pair of Continental penalty corners with no time on the clock.
Collins recorded four saves for her second shutout of the season, while Booth posted seven stops for Hamilton.
Middlebury, which held a modest 16-11 advantage in shots, has scored four goals in each of its five games this season and leads the NESCAC by a wide margin in goals per game at 6.00. No other team in the conference is scoring more than 3.50 per contest.